|Gentil Builds Momentum, Leaders Suffer Mixed Fortunes
Maui surfer Ian Gentil (HAW) put on a clinic in his Round of 16 matchup against Matheus Navarro (BRA), both in terms of surfing technique but also strategically. The Hawaiian got two good scores quickly, then controlled the lineup, and avoided a big comeback from his opponent in the dying moments of the heat.
“I was really happy to wake up today and see waves,” Gentil said. “I showed up here in the dark cause I was in the first heat of the morning and paddled out on a groveller and it was a pleasant surprise, I thought ‘oh this is the wrong board’. I was just trying to get two scores on the board quickly and then improve my scores. When I heard he got a 7 way down the point I had to paddle down and I ended up getting my best wave.”
Gentil will be facing Michael Rodrigues (BRA) in the first Quarter. Ryan Callinan (AUS) advanced into the Quarters as well, for the second time in as many events and will look to repeat his 2018 heroics when he beat Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) on his way to a major win at Ribeira d’Ilhas.
Dylan Moffat (AUS) won the day’s final heat and will match up with his compatriot Callinan in the Quarters when the event resumes.
The fifth day of action was not immune to upsets and the first one was huge, when World No. 5 Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) was defeated in 17th place in a lineup he knows better than most of the field. In the very next heat, another strong favorite for the win, rankings leader Rio Waida (IDN) was the victim of a wave-starved heat, thankfully the Indonesian had already punched his ticket for the 2023 CT earlier this week.